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Students see Humber’s low carbon aspirations first-hand in Norway

Group photo from Kollsnes
During the trip the team visited the Northern Lights project and Kollsnes.

A group of students from the Humber has travelled to Norway to learn about the low carbon technologies that could transform their region, as part of a sustainability competition prize sponsored by Equinor.

Eight young people from the Engineering University Technical College (UTC) of Northern Lincolnshire were selected by a judging panel for their Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge entry which significantly reduced energy consumption and secured savings of around a third of their school’s energy bills, as well as improving their environment and encouraging sustainable behavioural change by teachers, parents and fellow pupils.

As challenge sponsors, Norwegian energy company Equinor offered the team and two teachers a unique four-day trip to Bergen, a city steeped in Viking history and located close to some of the company’s key assets.

During the trip the team visited the ground-breaking Northern Lights project, one of the world’s only commercial carbon capture & storage facilities which imports CO2 emissions from across Europe for safe storage on the Norwegian continental shelf. They also visited Kollsnes, where 40% of Equinor’s natural gas destined for the UK and Europe is processed, and where a hydrogen transition programme is being proposed.

These two facilities helped the students to learn about low carbon technologies which feature within their curriculum and will play a central role in decarbonising the Humber. They also met with young apprentices to discuss careers within the energy sector.

The team also visited the local Øygarden secondary school, where they presented their project to a large audience of students and teachers, and engaged in group exercises to explore and share other energy environmental and sustainability options. The students met each other again at VilVite science and technology museum, where they competed in a range of educational tasks. The two schools hope to build a lasting relationship which can lead to further collaboration for many years to come.

Dan Sadler, Equinor’s vice president for Low Carbon Solutions said:

“We are very proud to sponsor the Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge and to support this impressive winning team to learn more about the technologies that can transform their region and potentially inspire their future career choices. It is fantastic to see young people so motivated and engaged in the journey to net zero, we believe that trips like these can only help to further this ambition.”

Anesta McCullagh, Principal, Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire said:

“This project has not only give students important teamwork and leadership skills through taking part in the competition, but has saved the college thousands of pounds in energy costs, as well as our whole community of families. It has also developed the knowledge and understanding of global issues around sustainability and net zero for all of our students.

The trip to Norway with Equinor for the winners was an experience they will remember their whole lives, and the information they have brought back to the college about carbon capture and hydrogen production is educating other students and staff. The support we have had from the Equinor team has been wonderful. They have engaged, enthused and inspired our students, ensuring that every moment was meaningful.”

About the Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge

The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge gave students aged 9-18 across the Humber region the chance to make a positive impact on communities and the environment by creating inspiring solutions to harmful climate problems.